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Toy Industry Association Board of Directors elects new chairman and members

New members were named during the board's annual meeting at the Toy Fair in New York City.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of new members to the TIA Board of Directors, as well as a new board chairman.

During the association's annual business meeting, held during the Toy Fair in New York City, John Gessert of American Plastic Toys was named new chairman, replacing retiring chairman Soren Torp Laursen of The LEGO Group.

"As incoming chair, I hope to help TIA leverage its past successes to ensure continued success in the future," said Gessert during his address. "TIA is a wonderful organization to participate in. It helps you become better at what you do, and with that, you also get to help the toy industry continue on its path of development."

Joining Gessert on the executive committee are: David Hargreaves (Hasbro), who assumed the role of vice chairman, Robert Wann (Patch Products), who assumed the role of secretary-treasurer, and Shirley Price (Funrise) and David Allmark (Mattel).

Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA board were Drew Brazer, vice president of sales, North America, LEGO Systems, Inc.; D. Hugo Malan, senior vice president and president of sporting goods, Sears Holding Corporation; and William To, president of VTech Electronics, North America LLC.

Re-elected for a subsequent (third) term were Andrea Barthello, chairman and founder of ThinkFun, Inc.; William Beebe, managing director of Playmates Toys, Inc.; Sam Harwell, CEO of Big Time Toys, LLC; Shirley Price, president and COO of Funrise Toy Corporation; and Robert Wann, CEO of Patch Products. Jeffrey Kennis, president of Enchanted Moments, Inc., was re-elected for a subsequent (second) term.

Retiring board members Jay Foreman, president and CEO of The Bridge Direct/Acorn Management Group and George Irwin, "toycoon" of IToys USA, Ltd., also were recognized for their service.

 

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